Friday, February 18, 2011

Trivia Time: Club Nicknames

Gunners, Rossoneri, La Blaugrana??? Wha???  If you’re new in following the Champions League or European Football in general, you’ve probably heard of these words before.  Other than their official club title, teams also have other names their fans (or critics) call them by.  Some names are pretty easy to figure out which team it’s referreing to (jersey colors) while some are a bit harder to guess.  So here’s a guide to the major football club nicknames in Europe:

AC Milan
  • Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks/Red Blacks): obviously, because of their jersey color
  • Il Diavolo (The Devil): because the club’s logo used to be an image of a red devil with a Golden Star for Sport Excellence located next to it.

Tottenham Hotspur
  • Spurs: This one is also obvious, spurs because it’s a shortcut of hotspur :P
  • Cockerels: because their logo is a fighting cockerel on a ball
  • Lilywhites: because of their jersey colors
  • Yids or Yiddos: this usually refers to the fans of the team, generally used by the rival Arsenal fans, it’s more derogatory in nature because of the large Jewish population (their language is Yiddish) in the Haringey/Stamford Hill area.

  • Los Ches: Xe or Che is a widely used interjection that expresses protest, surprise or exasperation, which is one of the symbols of the Valencian identity, hence they are called the Xe Team or Los Ches.
  • Els Taronja (The Orange): from their jersey color when the play away games
  • Valencianistas: is pretty much self-explanatory
  • Los Pulos
  • Xotos

FC Schalke 04
  • Die Knappen (The Miners): because during its early years, many of its players and supporters are from the coal mine workers of Gelsenkirchen.
  • Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues): because of the color of their jerseys

Arsenal: The Gunners or Gooners
What are stored in an arsenal? Yup, you got it—guns.  Therefore, The Gunners

FC Barcelona (the team name is sometimes shortened to Barca)
  • La Blaugrana (The Blue Scarlets): because of jersey colors, the fans are called Blaugranes
  • Los Culés or Culers (The bottoms): this is usually used to call the fans of Barca.  Culs means arse or a** in english, and the spectators/fans in the 1st stadium (Camp de la Indústria) sat with their culs over the stand

AS Roma:
  • Giallorossi (The Yellow and Reds/Yellow-Reds): these are the colors of their old jersey
  • I Lupi (The Wolves): from the wolves found in their logo/badge (female wolf with the two infant brothers)
  • La Maggica (The Magic One):

Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Gornyaki (The Miners):  When the club was formed, it was originally called Stakhanovets which means they are part of the Stakhanovite movement derived from Aleksei Stakhanov, a coal-miner in the Donets basin.
  • Kroty (The Moles):

Olympique Lyonnaise: they are sometimes simply called Lyon
  • Les Gones (The Boys or The Kids): can’t find anything about this, only that Gones is the regional dialect word for kids
  • OL: initials of the club’s name

Real Madrid:
  • Los Galácticos (The Galactics or superstars or from the “galaxy of the stars): this actually used to call the expensive and world-famous players the club signed.  This term was used during time of Florentino Pérez, then club president, who implemented this policy of signing or purchasing at least one galáctico or superstar player in the summer of every year (which started with Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham).  Galactico can be used to refer to the transfer policy or the player bought under this policy.  The idea was to form a team of superstars to make them an unbeatable club (however, it kinda backfired as the galactics grew massive egos and stopped training.  Now most of the original galactics have left, so I dunno if you can still call them this. Barca seems to fit this description now)
  • Los Merengues (The Meringues): their jersey resembled the spanish food/dessert meringue
  • Los Blancos (The Whites) because of their jersey color

  • Byens Hold (The City's Team): is this a literal description?
  • Løverne (The Lions): as a lion is in their logo

  • The Pensioners: This was because of the war veterans, well-known pensioners, living in a nearby hospital
  • The Blues: because of their jersey color

Inter Milan:
  • Nerazzurri (The Black and Blues): jersey colors
  • La Beneamata (The Cherished One or well loved):
  • Il Biscione (The Big Grass Snake) or Il Serpente (The Serpent): the snake is an important symbol of Milan (seen in the coat of arms of the House of Sforza, ruler of Italy)
  • Baüscia (Boasters in Lombard language):

FC Bayern Munich:
  • Der FCB (The FCB): dunno if this has something to do with partnership of Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the pitch, which was called FC Breitnigge (FCB), who led the team to Bundesliga titles in 1980 and 1981
  • Die Roten (The Reds): because of their jersey colors
  • FC Hollywood (Hollywood Football Club): there was a time in the 90s when Bayern's players were frequent tabloid fodders, always appearing in the gossip pages instead of the sports pages, so they earned the nickname FC Hollywood

Olympique Marseille: L'OM, meaning The OM
Is this based on the club’s initials? Hhhmmmm…

Manchester United: Red Devils
Apparently, they chose devils because they liked it, so they incorporated a devil into the club badge and... their jersey color is red.

Here are more  team’s nicknames:

Ajax Amsterdam: Godenzonen (Sons of the God(s)) or Joden (Jews)
AS Monaco: Les Rouge et Blanc (The Red and Whites)
Aston Villa: Villains
Athletic Club de Bilbao: Los Leones de San Mamés (The Lios of San Mamés)
Atlético Madrid: Colchoneros (Mattress Makers)
Balogna: Rossoblu (Red-Blues) or Felsinei
Bari: i Galletti (The Cockerels) or i Biancorossi (The White-reds)
Cagliari: Rossoblu (Red-blues) or Isolani (Islanders)
Chievo: Mussi Volanti (Flying Donkeys)
FC Kaiserslautern: Die Roten Teufel (Red Devils)
F.C. Porto: Os Dragões (The Dragons), Os Azuis e Brancos (The Blue and Whites), Os
Fiorentina: Viola (Violet), Gigliati (Lilies)
Fulham: Cottagers
Portistas ("Os Portistas") or Os Tripeiros (The Tripe Eaters)
Fiorentina: I Viola (The Purples)
Hamburger SV: Die Rothosen (The Red Shorts) or Der Dino (The Dinosaur)
Juventus: I Bianconeri (The White and Blacks) or La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady)
Lazio: Biancocelesti (White and sky blue), Biancazzurri (White and blue), Aquile (The Eagles) or Aquilotti (Young Eagles)
Liverpool: Reds
Manchester City: Citizens, City, or Sky Blues
Napoli: I Ciucci (The Donkeys)
Nantes: Les Canaris (The Canaries)
Newcastle United: The Magpies, Barcodes, The Toon
Palermo: Rosanero (Pink-blacks) or Aquile (Eagles)
Parma: I Gialloblù (The Yellow and Blues)
PSV Eindhoven: Boeren (Peasants)
Olympiacos: Thrylos (Legend) or Erythrolefki (Red-Whites)
RCD Mallorca : Los Bermellones (The Vermilions), Els Barralets or La Ensaimada Mecánica
Udinese: Bianconeri (White-blacks) or Zebrette (little zebras)
Villarreal: El Submarino Amarillo (The Yellow Submarine)
West Ham United: Hammers, The Irons

So when you cheer for your favorite team, you can call them by their team nickname, like a die-hard fan :)

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